Recruits say they plan to honor pledges

Published: Friday, June 1, 2007 at 2:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2007 at 2:29 p.m.

All admit they were stunned by Billy Donovan's sudden departure to the Orlando Magic, and members of Florida's top-ranked 2007 recruiting class acknowledge they are in a wait-and-see mode regarding the Gators' next coaching hire.

But at this point,'s No. 1 class of Adam Allen, Nick Calathes, Jai Lucas, Chandler Parsons and Alex Tyus say it is unlikely they will attempt to get out of their signed national letters of intent.

"The reason I committed to Florida was the school in general," said Lucas, a 5-foot-10 point guard from Houston's Bellaire High School. "It felt like a good place to attend college. They have a great fan base.

"It will depend on the situation (regarding who is hired to replace Donovan). It is up in the air right now, but as things get settled in the next couple of days, I'll know better.

"Right now, I'm 100-percent with Florida, though."

Allen, a 6-7 forward from Milton, said Virginia Commonwealth coach Anthony Grant believed to be the front-runner in UF's coaching search was the Gator assistant who primarily recruited him as a junior, watching him live "four or five times."

Allen said he is comfortable with Grant, but added that whoever is hired will have to live up to an agreement previously made with Donovan.

"I'm going to play baseball, too," Allen said. "If the new coach says he's not willing to work with me, I'll have to consider my options."

With that said, Allen said he was a little disappointed.

"I felt a little left out to dry," Allen said. "But it's a business, and I understand that. Still, I did want to play for (Donovan)."

Parsons, a 6-9 forward from Winter Park Lake Howell, talked with the 6-9 Tyus, who already is on campus, and Tyus said he will be a Gator. Parsons added UF sophomore-to-be post player Marreese Speights has been calling the recruits to encourage them to honor their signings something Parsons said is likely from he and Calathes, a 6-6 combination guard who was his high school teammate.

"It was a weird feeling going to sleep (Thursday) night," Parsons said. "I go up to Gainesville in about 20 days, so this came suddenly.

"But I want to be a Gator. I want to wear orange and blue next year."

Parsons added that through his junior season, Grant was among those recruiting him to UF. After committing to Florida, Parsons continued to see Grant, who signed Lake Howell point guard Joey Rodriguez to play for VCU.

"I like coach Grant," Parsons said. "I like the fact that I know him pretty well. It's not like he's a stranger who had no interest in me before. I like the fact that he's been in the Florida system. Playing for him would be good.

"That would ease my mind and my family's minds."

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